Head brewer

technical brewer
Manufacturing and production

Career outlook for head brewer

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would be in charge of the beer production process in a brewery.

Typically, you would:

  • check brewing conditions and beer quality
  • keep records of production
  • work with suppliers
  • make sure ingredients meet high standards
  • oversee updates or repairs to machinery
  • look after stock
  • manage the packaging process
  • develop, test and produce new beers
  • manage staff

In a large brewery, you may look after just one area, such as fermentation, packaging or quality control. In a small or micro-brewery, you are likely to be involved in all stages of the brewing process.

Working conditions


You would usually work 40 hours a week. Your job will include regularly checking the brewing process, so you are likely to work a shift system including evenings, weekends and nights.


You would mainly work in the beer production area overseeing the brewing process. Even though many parts of production are automated, brewing is still a very hands on process. You may work in hot, cool or noisy environments and you would have to wear protective clothing.

UK employment status





Self employed


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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


Most entrants have a degree (SCQF level 9/10) in Brewing and Distilling, or a relevant science-centred degree such as chemical engineering, food science/technologies, microbiology.

To enter the Brewing & Distilling Degree course at Heriot-Watt University you will need National 5 qualifications and Highers at AABBB or above.

If you apply to this job with a degree in another subject you can gain specialist Brewing qualifications once in the job through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling (IBD).

A postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11) in Brewing & Distilling is available (Heriot-Watt University). 

Useful subjects

  • maths (required by most courses) 
  • science subjects, in particular biology and chemistry (required by most courses)
  • English and English-based subjects

You will also need

Physically fit as you may be on your feet a lot of the time.

Good colour vision may be required for some roles.